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Energy Conservation Critical as High Heat Continues

SCE is asking customers to help conserve energy to relieve stress on the overall electrical grid.

As the state enters the third day of one of the worst heat waves in years, Southern California Edison is asking customers to help conserve energy, especially from 3-10 p.m., to reduce the overall stress on the electrical grid.

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning today and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3-10 p.m. each day.

With increased demand on the power grid due to high temperatures, the state may issue a Stage 3 Emergency and direct SCE to conduct rotating outages. While CAISO rotating outages could be called at anytime of the day, they are most likely to occur between 6-8 p.m.

If needed, the controlled rotating outages typically last about one hour for each rotating outage group, but could be shorter or longer in duration, depending upon circumstances. More information on CAISO rotating outages, including communities that might be affected, can be found at www.sce.com/rotatingoutage.

With high heat throughout the day expected to continue until Wednesday, including early mornings and into the evenings, additional outages unrelated to the Flex Alert may occur. SCE has crews ready and available to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible should outages occur. The company also has ensured there are adequate stores of transformers, wire and other materials often needed for heat-related outages.

Customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages. They can also stay informed by visiting sce.com/staysafe, twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.

A few ways customers can help conserve energy include:

  • Set your thermostat to 78° when you are home and to 85° or “off” when you are away.
  • Cook with a grill outside, or microwave, to keep your home cooler.
  • Give your air conditioner a rest when you can and cool your home with open windows and fans.
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room.
  • Close your blinds to keep out the afternoon heat.
  • Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in many homes.
  • Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use. Give your dryer a break and hang-dry your clothes.
  • When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work to morning or late-evening hours.

Safety is SCE’s top priority and reminds customers that if they see a downed power line, stay away and call SCE at 800-611-1911 or call 911.

Customers are also urged to keep these extreme heat safety tips in mind:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, if possible. If you must be outside, be sure to wear a hat, use sunscreen and dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and remember to take frequent breaks. Try to avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.
  • Check on elderly family, friends and neighbors who live alone or do not have air conditioning to make sure they’re safe.
  • Never leave children or pets in enclosed vehicles, even with the windows "cracked" or open.